I have done a lot of inductions for the gym - taking new members around the gym, showing them the cardio and resistance machines and answering any burning questions they might have.
Over the course of several hundred inductions, few common questions keep cropping up so I wanted to answer them here. This post also goes really well with an earlier post I wrote on program design - http://www.joncoulson.co.uk/blog/program-design-simplified
For each question, I try to give a simplified answer so you can just get going. I also give an "it depends" type answer which is a bit of a running joke in fitness. However, I've tried to give several points behind why it depends so you can understand on a slightly deeper level.
Question 1: “How often should I train?”
The simple version:
If you’re new to exercising then 2 times a week would be a pretty good way to start without taxing your body too much. Once you’re comfortable with 2 times a week and progress is starting to stall then switch to 3 times a week.
For most people, 3 times a week would be more than enough to achieve fitness / weight loss/ muscle building goals. Tip: It does pay to be active outside of the gym though, walk more or find activities you like to do.
The complicated version:
Weelllllllll.... it comes down to factors such as:
1) Time available to train – Some people can only spare 2 days whereas others can spare 4 – 5 times a week. Some can only spare 30 minutes to 1 hour, others can spare up to 2 – 3 hours.
2) Your specific goals – Some goals can be achieved with full body training three days a week. Some goals might be better suited to a body-part split training.
Even with splits or full body it can vary depending on commitment levels and how the program is set out for example (this isn’t a definitive, just thinking off the top of my head):
Full body can be spread such as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. However, if you plan it carefully you could also do a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday spread.
Body-Part Splits could be Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday etc. But you could also play around with them in all sorts of ways.
3) Training age /Age – These impacts how much you can push hard in and recover from sessions. Younger people can generally recover quickly from workouts whereas older people can take a few extra days to recover from a hard training session.
The more training age you have, especially in strength training, the more demand you are able to place on your muscles and nervous system so training too frequently can fatigue you.
4) How you like to train – Kinda hits on number 2. Some people love training body part splits whereas some people love training full body. Some people love to train hard and heavy, some prefer medium weights and some like to go for higher reps and lighter weights.
This all impacts how many sessions you are able to do in a week.
To complicate it just that little bit more, people can and have gotten into shape using a variety of the above and more so to use my most common fitness answer:
And my second most common fitness answer: Experiment and find what works best for you.
Question 2: "What reps should I be doing?"
I’m often asked about what rep ranges someone should do to reach a particular goal. Below is a very simple explanation showing how the rough rep ranges impact the goals you’re looking for:
1 – 3 Reps – Maximal Strength / Power
4 – 5 Reps – Strength
6 – 8 Reps – Strength / Hypertrophy (muscle building)
8 – 12 Reps – Hypertrophy
13+ Reps – Endurance / Recovery work
I say rough rep ranges because there is usually a few reps difference depending on who you ask i.e. some people say 1 – 5 for strength or 15+ for endurance etc, but we’re all in the general ballpark.
There is also some carry over in the ranges so for example if you are doing 8 – 12 reps, you’ll still build some strength. However, if your goal is all out strength then basing your main lifts around 5 reps or less is more specific to that goal.
People who are beginners to the gym and exercising, my general guidelines are usually 10 – 15 reps to start with for 2 sets initially and then building to 3 sets. For me, this is so that people don’t try to go too heavy too soon because of not learning the technique properly at this stage and to allow the muscles and joints time to get used to exercising.
Question 3: "How much rest should I be taking?"
One area of workouts that is often overlooked or not understood is how much rest to take between sets when exercising.
Too much rest and you lose the effectiveness of what you’re training for. Too little rest and that next set is going to crush you about halfway through.
Here are some basic resting guidelines:
Strength / Maximal Strength training: 3 – 5 minutes
Muscle building (Hypertrophy): 1 – 2 minutes
Endurance / Metabolic work: 10 seconds to 1 minute
The rest periods are based on if your training requires complete or incomplete rest periods.
Complete Rest Period
This is the 3 – 5 minute rest times. It allows for complete recovery or near complete recovery of the energy systems. It also allows for the central nervous system (CNS) to recover as well.
Typically with this rest period, you would be doing more strength or power work so allowing the CNS to recover is better for this type of training
Incomplete Rest Period
This is the 10 seconds to 2 minute rest times. This doesn’t allow the energy systems to fully recover so there is more accumulated fatigue over the sets.
As the rest periods are shorter, this also means the CNS isn’t as recovered so the ability to lift as heavy is lower. On the plus side, the accumulated fatigue is generally better for metabolic conditioning type work and building muscle.
Question 4: "How fast should I be lifting?"
For beginners, I generally recommend an approximate lifting tempo of 2 seconds up and 2 seconds down. I recommend this for a few reasons:
1) Most people find this a generally comfortable tempo
2) I find that many beginners do not have the ability to control the weight properly at faster lifting tempos and often jam their joints into those end range of motions or into lock out. A more controlled tempo way means they’re controlling the weight better and less likely to hurt themselves
One thing to note, I’m not a massive fan of someone making sure each rep is 2 seconds up and 2 seconds down by counting it, generally because this detracts from them making sure they’re focusing on technique. So long as you get a feel for what this tempo feels like and then keeping roughly at that speed, that should be enough to go by.
Long (it depends) answer:
This isn’t exhaustive, but some of the factors to consider with lifting tempo:
1) Exercise selection – If you’re doing explosive lifts such as snatches, plyometrics, kettlebell swings or if you’re training high end strength then it wouldn’t make sense to worry about lifting tempo other than – perform as fast as you can with control. So keep the exercise in mind and apply common sense.
2) Your goals (part 1) – Strength / Power / Size / Metabolic training can benefit from different tempo styles. For example, metabolic (fat loss) training can be used with faster lifting speeds. Training to get bigger muscles can benefit from Time Under Tension (TUT) which means working the muscles for longer during sets. Power training benefits from an explosive tempo.
3) Your goals (part 2) - This is where is can also get a big more complicated. Playing around with the lifting tempo can spark a new stimulus to your training and help you along with your goals.
For example, if you’ve always used an approximate 2 seconds up, 2 seconds down tempo then your muscles adapt to this over time. Try lifting the weight as fast as you can (with control) and then lowering the weight a bit slower and repeating. It works the muscles in a different way.
Again though, see point 1 for when not to try this. A bit like if you’ve always done 3 sets of 10, trying 4 sets of 6 works the muscles a lot differently.
In short, beginners should stick to a nice controlled lifting tempo. More experience lifters, keep some common sense in mind with what exercises you’re doing but playing around with tempos can lead to new muscle stimulus, especially if you haven’t changed the lifting tempo for a while.
Whilst this is a fairly long post, use it as a reference for designing your own workouts and helping to find your way in the gym.
Any questions, feel free to drop me a message - JCFitnessCoaching@Gmail.com
I once had someone ask me for some advice as they weren’t seeing any results.
After showing them some different exercises, I asked them to show me a few things they’re currently doing.
They chose the leg press, set the seat position and put it on a weight they told me they do for their 10 rep sets.
The following actually happened; see if you can spot where they might be going wrong:
Set 1: Person does 10 reps with the weight then takes a rest.
Set 2: Person does 10 reps with the same weight. As soon as they hit 10 reps, I tell them to do another 5 reps. There was a bit of hesitation before completing another 5 reps. Then took a rest
Set 3: Person does 10 reps with the same weight. As soon as they hit 10 reps, I tell them to do another 5 reps which they do. I then tell them to do ANOTHER 5 reps as soon as they hit 15 reps which they easily do. That’s 20 total reps.
Did you spot the issue?
If you’re able to do 20 easy reps with a weight you’re supposedly doing for 3 sets of 10 reps then you’re hardly challenging your body.
If you’re aiming for 3 sets of 10, you need to make them a tough 3 sets. i.e. you wouldn’t be able to do 12 / 13 reps with the weight.
Next time you’re in the gym, see if you can do another 5 reps on some exercises. It might just be you need to increase the weight too.
Shoulder press exercises are a gym must for many but should everyone be doing them?
Barbell and dumbbell shoulder press exercises are a great way to build shoulder size and strength however, many people lack the proper overhead mobility to safely do the exercises.
Without that mobility, a lot of people compensate by over arching the mid / lower back to get the weight up which can lead to low back issues.
There are various tests and assessments you can do, a quick an easy one I like to use is shown in this photo:
Overhead Shoulder Flexion:
1 - Stand with your back to the wall, arms by your sides, thumbs facing forward
2 - Flatten your lower back into the wall
3 - Keeping arms parallel and palms facing, raise your arms forward and up in a big arc motion
4 - See how close you can get your thumbs to the wall WITHOUT letting your low back move away from the wall and keeping elbows forward facing
Arms won't go higher than about 135 degrees without any compensation (about halfway between arms being parallel to the floor and touching the wall) - I wouldn't recommend any overhead work at the moment. If the issue is muscular then a combination of mobility work, soft tissue work and foam roller may be best option, and lots of it.
Arms are between 135 degrees and a few inches from the wall without any compensation - Exercises such as landmine shoulder presses are a possible option. If close to the wall but have to compensate to touch, I would limit two hand overhead exercises. Maybe some 1 arm shoulder presses whilst working on mobility, sort tissue and foam rolling. Ensure perfect form is important here to to avoid low back compensation.
Arms can easily touch the wall with no tightness, elbows flairing or low back compensation - You should be fine with pretty much any overhead work. Main thing is to focus on form and keep doing what you're doing.
It is important to note that:
1) If there is any joint type pain with doing the test, it's best to get that looked at by a doctor or physio and get that pain addressed first
2) If the issue is structural i.e. how your joints limit the exercise, no amount of mobility, stretching and soft tissue work will resolve it, it will only allow you to work towards getting the maximum range of motion from the shoulder joint but overhead pressing may be best avoided.
3) If you can get your arms overhead but they flair out to the side, then using a wider grip when pressing should feel better on your shoulders than using a narrow grip.
Exercises to Try
I wanted to give you two exercises to try that allow you to work overhead but in a way that can be more friendly than a standard shoulder press.
Based on your shoulder test, if you could get your arm to approximately 135 degrees but not to the wall then try a landmine shoulder press.
If you could get your arms to the wall but they were out to the side making you look like a human "Y", then try the shoulder Y press. You would also likely be fine doing wide grip overhead exercises as well.
Landmine Shoulder Press
• Stand tall with feet hip to shoulder width apart and brace abdominal muscles tightly.
• Stand facing landmine. Hold barbell in one hand, raised to shoulder level with palm facing towards body. Elbow should be approximately 45 degrees to body, wrist 90 degrees to bar.
• Throughout movement, keep palm facing inwards.
• Breathe out and press barbell upwards until arm is extended.
• Important: Do not lean back when completing this exercise.
• Breathe in and lower barbell towards shoulder until at ear level and repeat.
Shoulder Y Press
• Stand tall with feet hip width apart and abdominals braced tightly.
• Hold a dumbbell in each hand, raised to shoulder level with palms facing forward. Elbows should point out to sides.
• Throughout movement, keep palms facing forward.
• Breathe out and press dumbbells up and out approximately 45 degrees overhead.
• Important: Do not lean back during movement.
• At top of movement, should be making a "Y" Shape.
• With control, lower dumbbell back to ear height.
Improving shoulder mobility
There are many strategies or drills that can be used to improve shoulder mobility (so long as the issue isn't structural). The first one to cover is thoracic spine / upper back tightness.
The thoracic spine is pretty much between the shoulder blades and due to factors such as office work, and spending more time on computers leading to poor posture, the thoracic spine gets tight and jammed up.
With the human body, generally where one joint or area suffers, the joint or area directly above and / or below is impacted and suffers too. In this case the shoulders suffer when the upper back gets jacked up.
Two of the exercises I like to use are the cat/ camel and the side lying cross-over or side lying thoracic rotation as in the photo.
They can easily be done as part of a warm up in the gym or at home.
1. Cat / Camel
• Start on hands and knees. Knees underneath hips. Hands underneath shoulders.
• Arms should remain straight throughout entire exercise.
• Simultaneously roll head down towards chest whilst rounding back up towards the ceiling until a stretch is felt. Hips and shoulders should not move.
• Return to start position with straight back.
• Raise head up and at same time arch back down towards floor. Hips and shoulders should not move.
• Repeat this in a nice smooth manner for 8 - 12 repetitions
2. Side Lying Cross-Over
• Lay on side with both legs straight. Place a medball at hip height and bring top knee up to rest on it throughout exercise. Knee should be bent 90 degrees.
• Extend both arms fully, directly in front of body.
• Keeping top arm straight, raise it up towards ceiling in as big an arc motion as possible, continue motion and rotate arm behind body. As arm rotates, rotate upper body and aim to have top shoulder touch floor behind.
• Eyes should follow rotating hand.
• Reverse motion to return arm to start position.
• Aim to do 8 - 12 each side
• If you can't touch the floor to begin with, don't worry, just try to go a bit further every time you try the exercise
Stretches for Shoulder Mobility
The lat muscles (latissimus dorsi) are the two big back muscles that are on each side of the middle of the back. They start from the low back and hips and run all the way up to the arms.
If these muscles are tight then you will likely feel them stretch or cramp when you try the shoulder test and try to keep your elbows facing forward.
I have found that people with poor overhead mobility really benefit from these stretches.
The first stretch you can do is the Standing Lat Stretch:
• Hold onto a door post or solid frame and stand at arm's length or slightly further away
• Keep shins vertical whilst pushing the hips back and bending at the waist
• You should feel a stretch going down the side of your arm pits and likely down the side of your back
• If you want to add more of a stretch, push the same side hip away from the structure even more. i.e. if you're holding on with your left hand, push your left hip as far back as it'll go.
The second stretch is a bit more advanced as it is more aggressive, the Bar Hang or Hanging Lat Stretch:
• Stand underneath a bar and raise arms overhead.
• Hold onto bar with arms straight and bring feet up off the ground
• Grip width can start at outside shoulders and gradually move hands in.
• Take a deep breath in and breathe out hard as you relax into the stretch as much as possible.
• Hold for time.
That's it on improving your shoulder mobility. Give the test an honest try and see how you do. If you have tightness or poor mobility then try the mobility work and stretches and try the test again to see if there's any improvements.
Whether you're training your core to look good on the beach or to improve your performance, doing endless crunches, leg raises and half-hearted front and side planks isn't enough to see the sort of improvements you want.
Here are some factors I consider to be important when it comes to training the core:
1) If you want a good looking core, you need to drop bodyfat. There's no getting around this one, you could train abs for days but if you're not eating to support that goal, it's likely you won't achieve visible abs.
2) If you are exercising and doing 20+ rep sets of crunches, leg raises and exercises like that all the time, you need to switch it up. There are exercises I do with my clients that really gets the abs working hard and they'd struggle to hit 10 reps. It's all about training with intent, really challenge the core in the way it's meant to be challenged.
3) Something that caused a big shift in how I looked at training the core - the core is there to transfer force from the hips to the shoulders and vice versa with minimal energy leaks. This basically means keeping the core stable so power is not lost, this is very important for a lot of sports.
So to train it more fully, you need to look at exercises which cause the abs to resist movement, whether that is forward / backward flexion, side bending, rotational rather than using the abs to start a movement.
4) Prioritise your core training! it's a mistake I was once guilty of and see many people making the same mistake. Putting the ab training only at the end of a workout when you're already exhausted so they're not getting your full attention.
I like to cover some exercises as part of a warm up and use them during the workout, whether at the start, middle or end. The more of a priority it is, the more I load up the beginning of a workout with core training to really focus on them - You can train your abs at the beginning of a workout (just don't exhaust them) and still be fine to train with other lifts.
If you enjoy doing crunches, leg raises and all that, then keep doing it. However, if you want to start taking your ab training up a few levels there are better options out there which I can help with!
If you want some ideas of exercises to challenge the core, here is a little article I wrote, you're welcome to download the PDF and use it:
I can safely say from experience that walking into a supermarket without a list of food and winging it, one of two things will likely happen:
1) You wander aimlessly up and down the aisles buying too much food, end up binning a lot along with throwing in too many chocolate bars whilst making questionable DVD purchases (or maybe that's just me)
2) You don't buy enough food or forget something and end up getting out the takeaway menu and ordering with hungry eyes that are about 3 times too big for your stomach
Neither is great if you're looking to get in better shape / save your money and time.
This is why I wanted to do a quick post on how I like to build my shopping list and give some tips so you don't waste your time and money in the supermarkets.
1) Grab some paper
2) Make 7 columns for the next 7 days, labelled Mon - Sun
3) Down the side, split this into how many meals you have each day
4) Plan out what foods you need for each meal and in what quantity
5) Run through that list and add the ingredients to your shopping list.
6) Where you already have an item on the list, increase the quantity. i.e. if I have two different meals with 3 eggs in, I'd write 6 eggs rather than write eggs out twice
Keep that shopping list with you when you next go food shopping and stick to it!
After a while, you get to know the general lay out of the supermarket so put your shopping list in the general order that you walk around the store. It saves time so you don’t get to the far end of the store; look at your list and realise you’ve missed something from aisle 2.
If you pretty much have the same meals from week to week, keep your previous shopping list and you can easily use that again which saves having to draw out the weekly planner again.
If certain foods are cheaper in bulk i.e. beef, chicken etc and you know you will be eating it again then bulk buy and freeze what you don't need right now.
Try to plan meals that will help you to use up all the food to reduce wastage. i.e. if you buy a whole head of brocolli but only need so much for 1 meal, try to plan another meal with brocolli in so it is used up.
Check what you already have in your cupboards / fridge / freezer so you don’t needlessly buy something you already have.
There you have it - quick, simple, time saving, cost saving, waist saving.
Adding finishers or conditioning circuits to your workout can give you that extra push and can be as much of a mental challenge as a physical challenge.
..and more fun than getting a numb butt from sitting on the exercise bike every time.
Don't get me wrong, cardio definitely has its place in your workouts but it can get stale. Finishers will get your heart rate going and spice up your workouts.
There's something about feeling like you've left it all on the gym floor and survived that can build determination, motivation and a few laughs the next day when you try to get out of bed.
On the flip side, as they can be pretty demanding, it's not a good idea to use them all the time. I do prefer to mix them up along with steady state and interval cardio.
There are endless combinations and variety you can use to build a finisher or a conditioning circuit. I usually find that keeping it pretty simple works best, both for ease of remembering what you're doing and performing the exercises safely.
Some of my favourite basic combinations are 2 exercises back to back - 1 upper body and 1 lower body - or 3 exercises back to back - 1 upper body, 1 lower body, 1 ab exercise
My favourite way to use them as finishers are timed sets. You can set a time limit and aim to complete as many rounds as possible in that time or complete a certain number of rounds in as quick a time as possible
A few examples:
a) Squats 1 - 10
b) Press Ups 1 - 10
Complete 1 squat, 1 press up then complete 2 squats and 2 press ups etc until you reach 10 squats and 10 press ups. Record how long it took to complete and aim to beat that time.
a) Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 12 reps
b) Sprinter Lunges with knee raise - 12 reps
c) Press Up Plank with Lateral Reach - 15 - 20 seconds each side
Complete as many rounds as possible in 8 - 10 minutes
a) Stability Ball Stir The Pot - 5 each direction
b) Romanian Deadlift - 5 reps
c) Dumbbell Uppercut - 5 reps each side
Complete 3 - 5 rounds as quick as possible
Have some fun and be creative with your ideas!
I have written a lot of programs as part of a service I offer as well as for my own clients and I understand not everyone wants a program designed for them. If you're looking to design your own workout, there are often a lot of variables to take into consideration, especially if you're thinking more long term.
It's something that can be as complicated and as technical as you want to make it or alternatively you can just make sure you have your main bases covered and apply simple progressions. I wanted to provide a few tips to help you with designing your own workouts.
Depending on what you might read from people such as JC Santana, Nick Tumminello, Dan John or the Girl Gone Strong team, there are some main exercise areas to include in your workouts:
1) Squat Variation / Level Change i.e. back squat; goblet squat; Reverse Lunge
2) Hip Hinge / Deadlift i.e. Romanian Deadlift; 1 - Leg Romanian Deadlift; Rack Pulls; Deadlifts
3) Vertical & Horizontal Pulling: i.e. Chin Ups; Back Rows; Bicep Curls
4) Vertical & Horizontal Pushing / Pressing i.e. dumbbell chest press, incline chest press, shoulder press; tricep dips
5) Rotation / Anti Rotation i.e. Deadbugs; Pallof Press; Woodchoppers
6) Loaded Carries i.e. Farmers Carry; 1 - Arm Farmers Carry; Racked Position Carries
Progression methods: Add more reps; Add more weight; reduce rest times; add more sets; increase difficulty of exercise variation
In its simplest form, have 2 - 4 exercises for each pillar and you can build that into a few workouts - you don't have to include them in every workout, just cover them over the course of the week.
As the photo shows, I combined these into some supersets and a few single sets for one of my workouts. There is so much variety so play around with exercises and combinations to see what works best for you.
For rep ranges, I like to use a variety of ranges such as 5 - 8, 8 - 12 and 12 - 15. I find it is better than trying to stick to just 1 particular rep range. Mix it up in your workouts, I prefer to use all the rep ranges within each workout
Add some basic progression methods to follow for up to 12 weeks and you've developed your own program.
If you're looking to target a specific area more (please, please, PLEASE, for the millionth time note, YOU CAN NOT SPOT REDUCE AN AREA), then include a few more exercises that will help to bring that body part / area up. For example if you're wanting some booty gains (yeah, I typed that) then put more of a focus on exercises such as squats, lunges, glute bridges and hip lifts.
There you go, some basic tips to build your own highly effective workouts and develop them into programs. Of course there are more complex and advanced layers you can continue to add when designing your own workout, to begin with though keep it simple.
If you have any questions or need help with your own programs then get in touch and I'll be happy to help.
Fat loss is simple but not easy.
It's a phrase you may have heard before and I wanted to illlustrate this with a quick flow diagram (I know, I know, my artistic skills are sublime!)
The simple side:
1) If you're wanting to lose fat - pick a few key measurements such as weight, waist, arm and thigh circumferences
2)Track what you're doing such as how much food, drink, sleep and training
3) After about every 2 weeks, redo measurements
4) If the measurements are going in the right direction, carry on doing what you're doing
5) If the measurements are either staying the same or going in the wrong direction, change an aspect of eating / drinking / sleeping / and or training
6) Repeat from step 2 onwards until goal achieved
A pretty simple system really.
The not easy part:
Knowing the which, what and how of changing eating, drinking, sleeping, and training habits. There is a lot of information out there, some of it good, some of it bad, some of it feels like it's contradicting the other stuff.
This can easily lead to paralysis by analysis - too much information preventing you from changing something.
Or the opposite and giving you shiny object syndrome - for example, you make a change to your training and then see or read about some other way of training and jump on that. A few weeks into it, you find out about something else and switch to that.
Also knowing and doing are two very different things. Nearly everyone knows what they need to achieve their goals but never do them. Many times setting the right goals, having a plan in place and being held accountable to it is what drives the action forward.
If you want the guesswork being taken out of it, hire a fitness professional to help you. They will help you with your goals, training, nutrition and hold you accountable to achieving them.
I like to keep things pretty simple in life and nutrition is definitely one of those things - sure, we could talk about nailing macronutrient and micronutrient levels, ketones, carb loading, water manipulation and advanced fat loss strategies.
To be honest, if you follow the basics then you'll more than likely make fantastic progress without the need to ever worry about more advanced areas. There are some exceptions to that such as athletes, bodybuilders but they are few and far between.
With the overwhelmingly vast array of diet and nutritional advice out there, trying to change what you eat to reach your goals can feel like you're navigating a complex food minefield.
When it comes to working with a client on their nutrition, I like to keep things as simple as possible for them and build on those changes over time and you can use this strategy too.
I like to start with looking at what someone is currently eating and then working with them to focus on changing one meal at a time.
For example, we could pick breakfast and focus our attention on improving that for a start before moving onto other meals and snacks.
Taking breakfast for example:
Stage 1) The first thing is are you actually eating a breakfast? If not, consistently get something / anything in place so you build that habit of having breakfast. That means looking at the reasons why you don't have breakfast currently and seeing what strategies work best for you to get something in place.
Stage 2) What is the quality of the food like? Once you get something / anything in place, then improve the quality of what you are eating to include more vitamins and minerals.
Stage 3) How much food are you eating? So breakfast is now in place and you've improved the quality of the ingredients. Now it's time to work on the quantity of what you're eating so it's more in line with the goals you're looking to achieve.
This is the general plan for how you can approach changing your own nutrition and change you meals one at a time.
You do have to work at some of those strategies and changes. If you find yourself being resistant to pretty much any change, you need to look at why you're being so resistant and work on that first.
Once you do start with those little changes, if done consistently over time, will add up to big improvements.
Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT is basically the movement you do that isn't planned exercise. Anything from housework to walking to the shops is all part of NEAT.
You can use NEAT to help boost the amount of calories you burn throughout the day. This could easily be up to an extra 100 calories and over time that totals up to a lot!
You need to be mindful and be asking yourself what could I do to burn a few more calories here and there?
They may only be small activities but if you do enough of them, they do add up over time.
- taking the stairs instead of a lift
-going for a walk at lunch time
-Making sure you get up and walk / stretch for 5 - 10 mins if you've been sitting for an hour
-Getting a pedometer such as a fitbit and tracking your activity
-Fidgeting around when sitting, waiting in line
-Getting up 10 - 15 minutes earlier and doing some stretches and mobility walk
-Parking further away from the shops and walking (instead of thinking parking right next to the shop is like a badge of honour)
To me, doing activities like this signals a positive change in your mindset about improving your health, fitness and body composition.
What can you start doing today to improve your NEAT?
This is my, mostly, Personal Trainer musings and information which I hope you'll find helpful!